Baker meets with legislative leaders
Meetings between Gov. Charlie Baker and legislative leaders have tailed off since the end of the session on July 31, but they privately meet again today at Senate President Stan Rosenberg’s office, State House, 2 p.m.
‘Higher Ground Moral Day of Action’
Local clergy, advocates and activists with gather at the State House as part of “Higher Ground Moral Day of Action” to call on lawmakers and candidates to embrace policies such as a $15 minimum wage, State House steps, 11 a.m.
Carmen protest privatization
Prior to today’s meeting of state transportation officials, the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 will hold an informational rally in opposition to planned privatization of MBTA services, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 11 a.m.
Green Line extension update
MassDOT officials and the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board meet to get updates on the Green Line extension and other matters; an executive session is planned for a “discussion of strategy related to litigation and collective bargaining,” 10 Park Plaza, Boston, 12 p.m.
South Coast rail hearing
The Department of Transportation and MBTA hold a public meeting to discuss the South Coast Rail project to restore passenger rail service between New Bedford and Boston. Bristol Community College, 2 Galleria Mall Dr., Taunton, 6:30 p.m.
Charter school commotion over education chair’s $100K donation
A personal $100,000 donation from the chairman of the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to the committee pushing the ballot question to expand charters schools is drawing intense fire from opponents of the question, reports the Herald’s Jack Encarnacao and Hillary Chabot. Paul Sagan, the board chair and a venture capitalist, is defending his contribution to the Campaign for Fair Access to Quality Public Schools, saying it was “completely appropriate.” But Question 2 opponents say the donation calls into question Sagan’s ability to be impartial on future charter school applications. “He should step down,” Steve Crawford, spokesman for the campaign to defeat Question 2.
Globe, UMass Boston, WBUR to host ballot-question debate
The Boston Globe, WBUR and the University of Massachusetts Boston will host the first of a series of debates on the four state ballot questions, starting Tuesday from 3 to 4 p.m. and featuring a proponent and opponent debating the Question 2 charter-school expansion initiative, UMass Boston has announced. The debate will be broadcast live from the McCormack Theatre on the UMass Boston campus on WBUR radio and will be live-streamed at BostonGlobe.com, WBUR.org, and umb.org. Boston Globe reporter David Scharfenberg and WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti will moderate the debate.
In an editorial, the Globe is blasting U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s investigation of Attorney General Maura Healey’s investigation into what ExxonMobil has known about climate change over the decades. The case has sparked heated debate on both sides, with Healey backers saying she has every right to explore the oil company’s past knowledge about climate change while critics say Healey is merely grandstanding on the issue. But the Globe said Smith, a Texas Republican, is crossing the line by interfering with Healey’s probe and demanding she hand over her own emails and documents to Congress. The Healey-vs-Smith showdown will be addressed later this week at a subcommittee hearing in Washington.
Email good-bye: McGee calls it quits as state Democratic chair
Embattled state Democratic party chairman Thomas McGee, who has been facing a growing list of potential challengers, won’t be seeking a second term as chair, reports Kevin Franck, a party activist and occasional Herald contributor who has posted McGee’s email to the party faithful last night announcing he won’t be running. McGee’s message is classy and urges Dems to fight hard to get Hillary Clinton elected president and to help other Dems win contests this November. But if McGee hadn’t voluntarily stepped down, he might well have been pushed out by disgruntled party members who say he hasn’t been tough enough on Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, among other things. Over the weekend, the Globe’s Jack Sullivan reported that two more candidates — former lieutenant governor nominee Stephen J. Kerrigan and former Fitchburg mayor Lisa Wong – were poised to take on McGee, in addition to Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff.
Remains of military veterans left in storage lockers amid cemetery dispute
The remains of more than 100 veterans of the U.S. military and their spouses sit in storage lockers, awaiting final burial as a contractor finishes an overdue expansion of the Agawam Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mike Deehan of WGBH reports. The project is four months behind schedule and the state agency overseeing the federally funded work has expressed frustration with the lead contractor, who in turn has blamed the state for some of the delays. “They’re (in) like what you’d have for lockers in a gym where you lock up your clothes when you’re taking your gym class, you know?” said veteran Paul Cool, 87, who has been waiting for his late wife Jean, who died in February, to be interred in the new portion of the cemetery, Deehan reports.
Will Tito side with masses over booze tax?
Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson isn’t exactly saying “no” to a proposed 2 percent tax on all alcohol sold in the city, but he is saying he’s worried it might hurt local restaurants and other businesses, reports the Herald’s Hillary Chabot. Jackson, who’s apparently mulling a run for mayor, may also be eyeing the fact that Massachusetts voters in 2011 rejected the legislature’s attempt to apply the state’s 6.25 sales tax on alcohol sold in the Bay State. Bottom line: The masses have signaled they don’t like sin taxes on top of sin taxes (there’s already a state wholesale tax on liquor and state and city restaurant meals taxes cover alcohol sales). In an editorial today, the Herald goes after the latest booze-tax idea: “The Boston City Council may be revisiting an ill-advised plan to raise taxes on alcohol sales in an effort to raise funds for addiction treatment and services. The councilors backing the proposal have identified the right problem but have concocted a predictable, punitive ‘solution.’”
Judge clears way for body camera launch
Some Boston police officers could begin wearing body cameras as soon as today after a judge on Friday denied an officers union’s request for an injunction to halt the pilot program. Michael Jonas of CommonWealth Magazine reports that Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins denied the injunction after two days of hearings, saying that state law gives police commissioners broad authority over their departments. The BPD is expected to assign 100 officers to wear the devices after no volunteers came forward initially.
Slots-parlor strategy seeks to put Revere first
The developer who managed to get a referendum question on the statewide ballot to allow a second slots parlor wants to first build local support and win an electoral victory in the host city of Revere, Sean Murphy of the Globe reports. Time is running out to schedule and hold a local referendum vote before the Nov. 8 statewide election, and developer Eugene McCain’s plan has both local support—the campaign claims a poll showed 66 percent support in Revere—and its share of detractors, including Mayor Brian Arrigo. “These are outside forces attempting to push their agenda at the expense of the city,” Arrigo said.
Brockton pols defend ‘trust act’ proposal
City councilors in Brockton are expected to vote Monday night on a proposed “trust act” that would assure illegal immigrants they will not be reported to federal officials unless they commit a crime. But officials say the measure stops short of making Brockton a Sanctuary City, Jack Encarnacao of the Herald reports. Some officials worry the move could put Brockton in a bind with federal funding should Donald Trump become president after the November election.
NH ballot selfie ban to be decided in Boston court
Because there is always a Massachusetts connection: A judge in Boston will hear an appeal of a lower-court decision to strike down a New Hampshire law that bans the online posting of ballot selfies, the Associated Press reports in a story carried by the Cape Cod Times. The case will be heard Tuesday in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
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